“They say time is the fire in which we burn.”— Dr. Soran (Malcolm McDowell) in Star Trek: Generations
“I rather believe that time is a companion who goes with us on the journey and reminds us to cherish every moment because it will never come again.” — Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart) in Star Trek: Generations
Our lives often seem dictated by a series of schedules. Time to get up. Time to go to work. Time to get some writing done, or do the grocery shopping, or get dinner started. Clocks and watches surround us—tools to keep us on time.
Fictional time passes a little differently, but it is still a very important element. In what time period is the book set? Is this a medieval piece? Contemporary? Futuristic? In genres like sci-fi, there can even be time travel. There are also flashbacks to previous events or, in books with psychics, visions of the future. Huge periods of time can be leapt across a single chapter break. E.g. “Three years had passed since she’d last seen him, yet her heart pounded with the same fierce excitement when he walked in the door.”
Is time the fire in which we burn? Or is Picard right, and time is our companion? Someplace like the Nexus, where time has no meaning, might be nice for a while, but I think most of us are comfortable with our own sense of time. It keeps us organized and on track. The only time (ha-ha) that time is our enemy is when we try to pack too much in, causing ourselves a lot of rushing and stress. Time for time-management, I say.